According to the article, the finding is based on an MRI of exactly one subject, Alex Brooks. Brooks seems to be exceptionally ardent and there's nothing to suggest he is at all representative of anyone but himself. It is never really safe to draw broad conclusions from studying one subject. But it is ridiculous to do so with someone you've specifically selected because they are exceptional.
Yet even if Brooks were representative, there's nothing within the article to suggest that the brain activity detected has anything specifically to do with religious thoughts or feelings. Yes, those areas light up when religious images are shown to religious people. But there are obvious alternate explanations that aren't addressed. Perhaps those areas of the brain light up when shown familiar visual stimuli. An Apple fan strongly recognizes an iMac. A Jesus fan strongly recognizes the crucifix. Or perhaps this brain activity is just caused by seeing something you like. You could control against these confounding factors, but they evidently have not.
Basically, unless the article has glossed over a lot, there is no finding here at all and this is the BBC pretending at science.
How do you know they haven't? I would presume a team of neuroscientists would know better than not do that unless I find reason to believe otherwise.
From the article:
> Previously, the scientists had studied the brains of those of religious faith
It would be interesting to see the results of that study to see if it contains details of controlling for the factors you mention.
My best guess is that people who care about little details like 2 volume levels for headphones & speakers, pausing your iPod when you unplug the headphones, etc. really love Apple (that's the case with me), so when we go off about how great they are someone else who sat down at a Mac with a default config couldn't right click, maximize a window, etc. and hated it, it makes him hate it even more because to him it's blind Apple love. Nobody could possibly love such a hamstrung system in the hater's eyes, and in the lover's eyes Apple can do no wrong. So the rift widens because of the strong opposing feelings. Talking often makes it worse.
Also, back before LANs were standardized I worked on a AppleTalk server that ran on PCs. Love AFP and ATP!!
We want to believe, lol.
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."
He uses Apple quite a bit in his analogy here:
Film at eleven.
There are others--Leica cameras, Rolex, Starbucks, Linux, Vans, Star Trek/Wars.
I don't think it's something you set out to attain, look at the airline Song for an example of how this backfires. I think being a cult brand is a status you attain after reaping several generations of loyal customers.
The study itself does not surprise me the least. It's no wonder we describe such close-minded people zealots and fanatics, both terms having a religious history.